Green Bay Packers running back AJ Dillon and his massive quads have no trouble putting the “power” in “power rusher.”
Dillon took the opportunity to show off his ridiculous leg strength earlier this week when he shared a video to his TikTok account that featured him talking a full-sized watermelon and crushing it between his tree-trunk quads. The second-year Packers running back was also wearing a custom-made “Quadfather” shirt for the video, a moniker that was hard is hard to deny after watching him show fruit no mercy.
Reply to @carsonn_.24 The Quadfather is back and ready for year 2! Thank you all for 200k! The first one cut off at 15 sec 😂 had to go get another 🍉
♬ original sound – AJ Dillon
Dillon, a 2020 second-round pick, originally wowed the internet with his enormous quads during the early days of his first training camp with the Packers last summer. Standing at six feet and weighing 247 pounds, he is also an excellent, big-bodied weapon for the Packers’ backfield, especially with a greater role awaiting him in 2021.
“He has got some massive legs,” Packers coach Matt LaFleur told reporters last August, via ESPN. “That’s something we talked about with our staff, we have not seen a running back built like that — not in my career, that I’ve been around.”
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Dillon Rises to RB2 Role in 2021
The projections on Dillon have ranged all over the board since the Packers drafted him. At first, he seemed to be Green Bay’s premium insurance policy with running backs Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams set to become free agents in 2021. Running for 124 yards and two touchdowns in Week 16 against Tennessee also helped improve his candidacy for a lead-back role in the NFL.
Instead, the Packers found a way to re-sign Jones to a four-year, $48 million despite a tight salary-cap situation and are now counting on Dillon to operate as his power-rushing complement for his second season. Dillon won’t be getting quite the promotion he would have if Jones and Williams had both walked, but slotting in as the No. 2 back will still offer him a more meaningful role than when he played just 122 offensive snaps as a rookie in 2020.
By comparison, Williams spent the majority of his four years in Green Bay functioning as the second-option rusher but never played fewer than 370 snaps on offense, even after Jones became a breakout star in 2019. The Packers will naturally have to cater to Dillon’s strengths as they did with Williams, but there’s no reason to think they have any intention of easing up on their two-back offensive approach.
Williams set a standard of at least 460 rushing yards and 210 receiving yards in each of his seasons with the Packers. If Dillon can carry that torch and match his output (at a minimum), it should mean great things for Green Bay’s run game.
Who Plays RB3 Behind Dillon & Jones?
The Packers may have the top two running back spots out on their depth chart squared away, but which youngster(s) will supply depth behind them remains a mystery as the team prepares to begin voluntary, in-person workouts on May 24. The good news is the Packers have no shortage of young options to consider for the RB3 role in 2021.
Aside from Jones and Dillon, the Packers have carried over Dexter Williams, Mike Weber and Patrick Taylor from last year’s team; though, none who occupied the active roster. Williams and Weber were each elevated from the practice squad in multiple games, but Williams’ measly two carries for eight yards in Week 9 accounted for their combined season contributions. Meanwhile, Taylor spent the year on the reserve/non-football injury list recovering from an injury leftover from college.
The Packers also used this year’s seventh-round pick on Mississippi State running back Kylin Hill, a do-it-all type rusher who showcased both power and elusiveness during his collegiate career. He rushed for 10 touchdowns and more than 1,300 yards in his best season for the Bulldogs in 2019 and could have a shot at making the Packers’ 2021 active roster if he stands out early in OTAs and the preseason.